Marchers demonstrate on Earth Day for environmental change

April 24, 2018

Taking to the streets to protest climate change and to push for a greener tomorrow, more than 120 people marched in downtown Rochester for the second annual People’s Climate March on Sunday.

On Earth Day, a modest crowd gathered in Peace Plaza and toted repurposed signs made from cardboard while marching down First Avenue to People’s Food Co-op for EarthFest. This was a culmination of EarthFest 2018, a weeklong celebration of the planet in Rochester.

For many in attendance, the march was the time to demand action against several environmental issues such as fracking, dredging, coal mining and oil drilling. The demonstrators also implored city government officials to take steps in committing to using 100 percent renewable sources of energy.

Kim Sin, 41, of Rochester, brought his family along to march in the People’s Climate March because of his involvement in studying air pollution. He believes that with the city growth, along with DMC expansions, that a closer environmental impact study needs to be taken of the air quality.

“It’s important to track our air quality, and pollution has got my attention,” Sin said. “Climate change is real. ... with DMC we really gotta plan for the future.”

Many climate scientists state that the main cause of global warming is the “greenhouse effect,” when the planet’s atmosphere traps heat radiating from the Earth toward space, according to NASA’s website. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — 1,300 independent scientific experts from all over the world — concluded there is more than 95 percent probability that human activities during the last 50 years warmed the Earth.

One marcher was Vikas Prasad, a 17-year-old Century High School junior, who implored local business owners and government officials to work toward a 100 percent renewable energy initiative for Rochester by 2031.

“We need to fight back on climate change,” Prasad said. “We need to task our local government officials to commit to change.”

Aly Welch, an 18-year-old Century High School senior, also shared those sentiments.

“It’s imperative to use our voices, even on days that aren’t Earth Day,” Welch said. “We demand action for renewable energy and cleaner resources.”